Thursday, July 04, 2013

Press 1 to choose Stability. Press 2 to choose Liberty

A democratically elected Government quickly fell out of favor with its citizens and the restlessness of the people was exploited by an Army chief who usurped power, declared a road map to democracy and promised to set right the ills plaguing the country.

Egypt in 2013? No. Pakistan circa.1999.

The intelligentsia and the vocal urban voter celebrated with great joy when decisive action was taken against Nawaz Sharif and the Army came in to save the day once again. The US played along happily, because in spite of all the preaching and lecturing, US prefers stability over liberty for its allies, whether in Middle East or Latin America.

More than a decade later, Nawaz Sharif is back in power and Musharraf is in prison. The fickle public realized that a man with a gun is as corrupt in mind as the man with a mandate. At least, the politician is not trained to kill! The people aren't complaining for now, nor is the US.

The situation in Cairo is eerily similar to the one we saw in Pakistan 14 years ago. I hope Sisi doesn't do a Musharraf because the world is always just a bomb blast away from another war, and a military government in Cairo is always convenient for the NATO, the US, Russia, France, anybody who wants to go to war.

I stayed awake late last night, watching the pictures,  the tweets and the reports filed in by The Guardian. And I wondered to myself, "Is this what the Arab spring has finally come to?" The Egyptians had an unenviable choice to make. Do you choose to empower the Army to remove democratically elected governments at will? Or do you live with an unpopular government until the next elections.

In their desperation to oust Morsi, they have chosen the dangerous path of relying on guns. How it will fare, only future can tell. Call me cynical, but I don't think it was a wise choice. I believe that the military should never be allowed to judge democratically elected governments. It should always be the other way.

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